Got Jobs?


slate.com)

(source: slate.com)





It’s enough to make your stomach churn. Those gloom and doom economic reports that flash across newspapers have voters of every age concerned about the shaky job market. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 605,000 thousand jobs were cut from the economy since August. Employers cut 84,000 jobs last month alone.


And when things get rough for Americans, they get rougher for African Americans. The unemployment rate for blacks rose to 10.6% in August, a nearly 3% increase compared to the same time last year. The total U.S. unemployment rate was 6.1% in August.


Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain both promise a brighter employment future, here’s how each of their proposed plans stack up.


In a nutshell, Obama plans to spend $210 billion over 10 years to invest in the manufacturing sector, national infrastructure and technological innovations, to boost the job market. About $150 billion will be used to create five million eco-friendly jobs to develop “environmentally friendly energy sources.” Sixty billion dollars would go to the National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank to rebuild highways, bridges and airports. Overall his plan will add seven million jobs to the economy in a decade.


Sticking with longstanding GOP strategy, McCain goes for the tickle-down approach, focusing on small businesses, which he says added 233,000 new jobs to the economy this year. The plan: cut taxes, more free trade agreements and less government restrictions. He’d cut the corporate tax rate from 35% to 25%. He proposes 45 new power plants by year 2030. He says the creation of more nuclear plants in the U.S. will increase payroll numbers by 700,000 but that’s the only number of how many jobs his plan would create.


And the winner is: Obama, sort of. His plan is comprehensive focusing on blue-collar workers, young people and businesses. With Obama making public service work a viable career, it would expand job prospects for millions of Americans. Also, the creation of more green jobs will provide opportunities for a growing number of eco-conscious young people. There’s just one small caveat: our bicameral Congress and all their rules about passing bills and veto power. If Obama’s plan were to make it through the Senate and House, I’m sure it would be more watered down than cheap lemonade.


McCain’s plan is safe. It’s also vague, but includes all the buzz words that are sure to get a roar out of crowds and garner votes. McCain reflects the current establishment i.e. a Democratic congressional majority that has not budged on issues like Iraq and No Child Left Behind (so much for the 2006 midterm elections) and a GOP minority that is fine with the way things are.


Readers: Which plan do you think is more sound for job creation?


Renita Burns is

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